Flawed Logic

Logical fallacies are commonplace in much of the daily discussions that we all take part in, such as presidential debates, petitions, or periodicals.With so many words and noises surrounding us, it is often difficult to observe the impact of the logical fallacies that take root amidst the jumble of conversation. I just read an article on the  controversial issue of legalization of prostitution, and realized that logical fallacies have a profound effect on an argument.While reading the article, I pulled out and elaborated on two of several logical fallacies that the argument consisted of.

The article starts by providing evidence to back up its main point. Presenting one of the sources of evidence, the author writes, “Editors of the top medical journal, The Lancet, wrote that there is “no alternative” to decriminalizing sex work in order to protect sex workers from HIV.” The logical fallacy present in this piece of evidence is black or white fallacy. The evidence, and consequently the author, make it seem as if there is only one way to protect sex workers from HIV. The evidence presented furthers the author’s position, but fails to acknowledge substitute options, resulting in an argument that is one-sided and incomplete. By saying that there is ““no alternative” to decriminalizing sex work in order to protect sex workers from HIV”, our options appear limited, when really, other opportunities may be present.

The second logical fallacy that I observed is the Texas sharpshooter. The author uses several examples to explain lessened worker exploitation, human trafficking rates, and increased economic benefit of prostitution legalization. The majority of these examples are taken from Germany. Germany fits all the good points about prostitution that the author wants to make, and by using Germany almost exclusively as an example, it seems like the author tailored the examples in her favor. This sharpshooting fallacy makes the article seem lacking in support because most of the backing is taken from one place, rather than a variety of places, which would’ve make the author’s claim better supported.

It is important to consider the presence and impact of logical fallacies in one’s work. Carefulness is warranted because without awareness toward these fallacies, many people make the mistake of thinking that these fallacies strengthen their argument, when in actuality, the opposite is done.

-Angel

 

Article:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/15/why-it-s-time-to-legalize-prostitution.html

One comment

  1. Katie G. · April 17, 2016

    Angel, as always, your post is well-written, well-supported, and well-organized. I appreciated that you went into depth about only two of the fallacies in the article. Trying to address more of them would have seemed overwhelming. For each of the fallacies, you thoroughly explain why the article violates logic in some way. Your evidence and explanations are clear and cogent. For improvement, I would simply recommend a closer proof-read. Sentences like this one are run-ons: “I just read an article on the controversial issue of legalization of prostitution, I realized that logical fallacies have a profound effect on an argument.” And then certain words are used incorrectly or awkwardly: “The evidence… but lacks to acknowledge substitute options.” Here, instead of the word “lacks” you could say “fails” or you could remove “to acknowledge” and say “lacks substitute options”. But besides that, really well done. You are a gifted writer.

    ~Katie

    Like

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